Samhain and Sabbat Box

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T’was the night before Samhain
and all through the house
The spirits were rising
ready to pounce…

      Samhain. All Souls Day. Dia de los muertos. Halloween. No matter which country you go to, this time of year has always been for the dead. A time to reap and thank the last of the crops and those you’ve stored, and a time to honor the ancestors as the veil drops and their voices are easier to be heard.

        It’s one of my favorite holidays–right up there with Beltane and Yule! There’s something to be said about honoring and remembering the past. About remembering where your blood, talents, and  even habits come from. For a brief time, if you’re lucky enough, you can have a chance to speak or see (in any capacity) a relative you never met but wanted to–or never even knew existed!

This Halloween (2017) falls the day after a New Moon. Some books may tell you not to do anything magical on a new moon as there’s no energy. Some will say you should sacrifice fresh blood. And others say you should just kick back with a martini and do whatever the hell you want because energy is energy and doesn’t need to follow no moon cycle thank-you-very-much!

Personally I find New Moons to be a perfect time for banishing. Banishing old energy, emptying the trash, organizing things and using your besom to sweep up annoying energies trying to collect in the corners of your house. Throw it all out to the void of the moon. This worked perfectly for me since I tend to lean to the Celtic side of tradition and Samhain is the New Year in Celtic days. So starting fresh is perfect! Plus, and I won’t lie, it means one less ritual like thing to do ON Samhain (I’m lazy, what can I say!?). And it’s perfect timing as well because it means I have a fresh slate to use my Sabbat Box order!

Now, if you haven’t heard of it, there’s a wonderful site called Sabbat Box. It’s a box that you can sign up for and they have different plans and prices (I would also like to note, they aren’t paying me for this, I’m writing about it of my own free will!). They’re a small company and so popular that I had to be a waiting list for 2 months before I got in! And I’ve loved EVERY BOX I’VE GOTTEN. I actually ended up using the incense in the box a day early to send up a protection ward on my house. The rest I’ll be using tomorrow when I do my Solitary Samhain Ritual.

I actually really look forward to opening the box because they include a phamplet with lots of info and ideas for the Sabbat of the month AND it smells nice!

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And when you open it, it looks like this!

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       Now they give you a lot of things, and in it they give you a lot of ideas on how to use the products they give you. If you’re a seasoned witch like me, you kind of have your own ideas. But they included something I never thought I’d see–let alone knew how to use–graveyard dust! Turns out you can use it to either a) call on the ancestors to be present or b)use it for protection. Lord knows this new house I moved into needs protection, I have an active portal in it! (Why am I constantly cursed with flipping portals?! WHY!?)

This package included not only graveyard dust, but Four Thieves Vinegar to put incredibly strong protective boundaries around the house (which I’m going to do, believe you me!), oil to call on your higher self to better hear those spirits and gods, incense, a protection poppet, and two skull candles which I’m going to light at my ancestor alter tomorrow! I’m SO excited!

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     If you’re like me (and maybe you are) you might find yourself ‘alone’ for Samhain. No fun circle to go to, no coven that you’re a part of….and if you’re also like me and super extroverted–it sucks! But rather than roll over in my grave (get it? Get it!? ’cause it’s Halloween? Haha?) I’m determined to use it as a time of self reflection and to take time to really really focus on my intentions and the voices of the ancestors, spirits, gods, or whoever decides to pay me a visit!

I’ll be writing up a follow up of the ritual (and recipes!) and posting it up Wednesday. In the mean time I’ll leave you with a few ideas of what you can do Halloween night if you find yourself alone like me.

For Solitary witches who can freely practice:

-turn a tabletop into an altar for your ancestors by covering it with a black cloth and place their pictures (or pictures of beloved pets that crossed the veil) there. Light a tea light candle in front of each one to welcome them in.

-Do a ritual acknowledge the passing and death of the year

-Give yourself a tarot reading for the year to come

-Cleanse your house and put up new protective boundaries

For Solitary witches who have to hide their practice (If it has a * symbol, it means you can also do this as a witch who doesn’t have to hide):

-Clear a space on a table and put pictures up of your relatives you wish to join you (your family wont think you’re weird I promise!). If you CAN, light a tealight to welcome them.

-Carve a pumpkin*!

-When parents are asleep and if you have tarot cards (or runes, or ogahm), give yourself a reading for the coming year!

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Just Breath: Following Intuition

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Hello my witchlings and wizardlings (those are totally titles, right? Totally.)! It’s been a while but that’s because my mundane life has been…well…kinda crazy! So crazy in fact that magic and meditation had to take a backseat! And you know what? That’s okay.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s to not beat myself up if I slack off in the magic department. Not because I’m disrespectful to it or don’t cherish it, but because the gods understand. We’re human. Life happens. Sometimes if your house is on fire you gotta leave the shrine to Ganesh behind, you know? They’re not gonna get mad at you for not saving a statue!

Just like they won’t get mad at you for not celebrating every holiday or observe every Full Moon. Breath. It’s okay. Zeus won’t strike you with a lightening bolt.

……….

Okay HE might, but others won’t, I promise!

But the thing I always listen to (or try to) 24/7 is my intuition, and by doing that I live a magical life even if I don’t get to do some of the bigger stuff. Tonight for some reason (but there’s always a reason, right?), my intuition pulled my attention to chakras. Probably because I need cleansing and to balance myself out! Hey I’m a cusp sign, what can I say?

 

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While the path I chose doesn’t often cross over into Hinduism or Buddhism for that matter, I do believe in chakras (not that I don’t believe Hinduism or Buddhism isn’t real! It’s just not a path I pursue in my craft.). But apparently somewhere in me something is out of alignment or blocked. And the moment I realized I need to make a space to meditate and clear my chakras I suddenly felt calm. Centered. Magically grounded and aware in a way I haven’t felt in months!

So while you may feel bad if you missed a major holiday, or aren’t meditating everyday, or not pulling tarot cards every day because life is just gogogooo, that’s okay. Life happens. There are a million little ways you can keep magic in your life during the times that you can’t be that magical. Here are a few ideas for you!

1) Keep your altar (if you can) In a place you can see it so you can at least give it a nod before rushing off.

2) Sage (or use a cleansing mister) your house every once in a while

3) Keep some quartz in a bowl in your living room to keep the energy up

4) Ring a bell to clear the air

5) if you’re making food pause for a moment and put some loving energy into it (even if you’re just warming up frozen pizza for dinner!) so that others can have some love!

6) Follow any gut instincts you have

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Thursday Meditation: Action!

Today I wasn’t able to do a real meditation as life took over! I didn’t even have time to recall what influences were today, so busy was I! But when I got home late this evening and looked it up in my BOS, low and behold, one of the influences of today was ‘desire’. And you know what? Without even trying I had actual put that in action–I even wore one of the colors associated with today! How’s that for magical!?

So today is about action. Have the intents you’ve put forth this week made an impact in your every day life? I know they have for me! For the first time in months I had the desire and the focus (oh universe, you’re so funny!) to sit down and start fixing and finishing the novel I’m working on. I didn’t even need to mediate apparently! Tomorrow I’ll definitely mediate–and send a little thank you and love to the powers that be upstairs!


Since I still had time, I burned some cinnamon on some charcoal and continued to write! Because I have to keep this desire up! Blessed be everyone!

Day: Thursday

Planet: Jupiter

Colors: blue, indigo, purple

Herbs/Oils: cinnamon, cinquefoil, musk, nutmeg, sage

Influences: health, honor, luck, riches, clothing, money, legal maters, desires

Meditation: None!

Wednesday Intent: Self Improvement

This morning as I was making tea I was thinking about what Intent to focus (ha!) on today. Skimming through my daily influences in my BOS the words that jumped out to me were ‘Self-Improvement’. As pagans–as people–we are always trying to better ourselves. But rather than looking yourself in the mirror and saying “there’s so much I need to improve though!” pick one thing. One thing today that you should work on. One thing you’d like to embrace about yourself.

Slight as it may be, the moon is in Waxing mode (meaning it’s getting bigger), so bringing in energy rather than banishing things, is the way to go! And changing something isn’t banishing! Today’s meditation isn’t exactly a ‘shut your eyes and be the next guru’ one. A Wednesday is also a good day for divination! So without further adieu, here is Wednesday Intent! Feel free to do this as well, or pick whatever you need in your life today!

Day: Wednesday

Planet: Mercury

Colors: Gray, iridescent, opal, violet, yellow

Herbs/Oils: Jasmine, Lavender

Influences: communication, teaching, reason, divination, skill, debt, fear, self improvement, loss

Intent: Self-Improvement.

After lighting a yellow candle and lavender incense I did my breathing exercise (you can find it the previous post), stared into the candle for a minute to get myself focused and the picked up my tarot cards. I put my Intent into asking the cards this simple question and doing a 1 card draw:

What do I need to improve about myself today?

Don’t go all crazy and try to do a 12 card spread about all the changes you need to make about yourself followed by an in depth analysis of past issues as to why you have them in the first place. That isn’t the point. Small changes every day equal to big changes later on, just like everything in life!

Litha is this weekend, so remember to laugh! Remember to embrace the sun and warmth and summer! Enjoy yourself, because gods know we’re gloomy about ourselves half the year anyway!